Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Today we read "The night before New Year's" written by Natasha Wing and then we made this Happy New Year picture. We discussed some goals we have for 2011 and Channing's top goal is to learn to ride the bicycle he got for Christmas.
Hope you all have a wonderful time tonight :-) I'll be back to the blogging world on Monday with a new unit!

Monday, December 27, 2010

SUPER NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are not going to believe this! (I hardly do myself!). I got an email this morning saying that I am able to use DJ Inkers clip art to make my printable worksheets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people over at DJ Inkers had a meeting about it and said that it is OK :-) This has definitely made my day.......I will re-add the links to the Winter unit tonight (we have some visiting to do today)........soooooooooo happy :-)!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! This week has been absolutely CRAZY for us....we started out in Philly and have had "thing" after "thing" on morning, noon and night the last few days....tonight we are going to "Christmas Village" with some very dear friends of ours.

I have appreciated your support and encouragement - especially after yesterday's post! I am happy to report though that I have found some Clip Art that I am certain I am able to use, so you can expect some new units from me in the New brain is already brimming with ideas :-)
I really pray everyone enjoys the next few days, celebrating the birth of our precious King!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some Christmas Craft it Friday yet? What a week! Our student home boys all leave for 2 weeks of Christmas break tomorrow - the week before they leave is ALWAYS frantic.......and we see quite a few behavior issues that take up a lot of our energy - mostly the behavior comes out because many of our guys are going home to situations that are not ideal and as they mentally prepare for the "code switch" , they are sometimes overwhelmed. Please pray for them as they go home this break!
I haven't been feeling well either this week (I just can't seem to shake this cold/flu thing that I've had since Thanksgiving!) so I have not been able to do many of the things I had planned to do with Channing. The picture at the top of the post is Channing with his Grammy (who came to our house today - she even gave Sully his first haircut!).

Due to the fact that there is not much to "show" this week, I thought I'd show you some of the Christmas Crafts we've done over the last few years with the bigger boys.
What's a craft day without cookies....right??! We always start our Christmas craft days by making a ton (so we can eat them all afternoon as we work :-)

This year we had all the guys make their own Christmas tree......Mike drilled about 40 holes in each and we stuck the dowel in crayola clay (the kind that hardens) and stuck it in a votive candle holder......the guys then pushed pipe cleaners through the holes and stuck little beads on the end........we ended up with a bunch of interesting looking ones :-)
I love these simple yet they look fantastic on the tree :-)

We made these cute little guys a number of years ago - they are always a favorite with me (I used to make them with my kindergarten class too).

One year I bought some pre-made porcelain stars and the guys wrote their names with puffy paint and decorated with sequins and little jewels - they look great on the tree!

We made these last weekend. The guys did a great job and are looking forward to taking them home to give as Christmas gifts.

Penguin Popsicle sticks....we made this one a few years ago when we had all 5th grade boys! (Most of these guys are still with us but are now in 7th grade).
We're heading to Philly for a few days early next week so things may be a little quiet from me.....I am working really hard on my Winter unit that I'd like to post about next week if I can - we'll see how things go :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My first award

I was so excited tonight to find out that Leann over at Montessori Tidbits had given "The versatile blogger" award to little old me!! To be quite honest, it's my first award and I had no idea even how to get it on my blog - lucky Leann is so lovely that she helped me out with that too!

Award Rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 10 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (in no particular order…)
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

Here are 7 things about myself...........

1. I met my wonderful husband as a result of my brother meeting his wife on a mission trip in INDIA (my husband was a friend of my sister-in-law).

2. I collect picture books - I pretty much can't go near a bookstore without walking away with at least 1 (or more!).

3. I LOVE teaching - I knew I wanted to be a teacher even when I was a little is definitely something God has called me to do! I am passionate about teaching kids to LOVE to learn. I am thankful that I can be at home (while working full time) and do fun learning things with my two little guys.

4. I have always wanted 6 kids!

5. My husband and I currently live/work as "houseparents" at a residential school for disadvantaged kids - This entails being like "parents" to 12 middle school boys. I can't really describe the job because it is so "different"......we pray that we are making a difference in the lives of the boys that live with us!

6. I LOVE to bake - around our house, I am known as the "queen of desserts".

7. "Incidents" seem to follow me - my favorite happened on our honeymoon. We were in Hawaii, and were woken up at about 2AM by a pager going off to discover that a big Hawaiian man was asleep on the couch in the living room of our condo! As it turned out (after the police arrived), he was the head of maintenance at the hotel and had thought that our apartment was empty :-) My first words when I found out he was in our apartment sleeping was "I can't wait to email this to my friends, they will NEVER believe this!"

And now I get to pass the award on to 10 fabulous bloggers:
1. Stay and Play
2.Fryman Four
3. The Gang's All Here!
4. Krazy for Kindergarten
5. Homeschool Creations
6. Sippy Cup Central
7. Our Worldwide Classroom
8. Little Hands, Big Work
9. Miller Moments
10. Delightful Learning

Friday, December 10, 2010

We have a winner!

Congratulations 3childrenbyfaith, you are the winner for "The Gingerbread Pirate" book give away!! I will be in contact with you soon :-) Thanks so much everyone that participated!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The big reveal!

Here it is! The masterpiece we've been working on the last few days! The boys and I made a hand print flower on a canvas for Mike for Fathers day and since then I have been wanting to do another one - I had BIG plans to make a hand print turkey for Thankgiving but it didn't happen (there's always time next year though) worked out perfectly to do the project at Christmas! I have made little cut out hand print trees with my Kindergarten class in the past but I wanted something more permanent so I went to Michaels,got my supplies and we were off :-)

I didn't get too many pictures as I was painting little hands and positioning them but Channing's hands are at the bottom of the tree and Sully's are at the top (it was MUCH easier doing Sully's hand prints!).

The following day (after the hand prints dried), I cut out a star shape from a paper plate and placed it on the tree. I covered the star "space" with glue and then Channing poured the gold bead on. We just tilted the canvas to get the excess beads off and then I carefully took the paper plate shape off.

The next step was to trim the tree with lights........I used Channings fingerprints for this and then I chose one hand print from each of the boys to highlight with glitter glue so I could write their name in it.
The last step was gluing on the "jewels"..........Channing loved this part - I put a glue drop on the tree and Channing dropped the jewels on.
I love the way it turned out and I know that we will have it hanging up for MANY years to come :-)

After out Art work was complete, we read "Sssh" by Julie Sykes. A cute little story about how loud Santa is due to the fact that he's so jolly and how the reindeer and other animals at people's homes have to remind him to be quiet so he doesn't wake the children. Channing loves this book - it's been a favorite since last Christmas and we've read it many times before :-)
After we read the book, we made this craft. I picked this up from Michaels the other day for a dollar or two but you could easily make it yourself if you have some foam laying around.

We also played memory with these little Christmas tree containers I found. I put some Christmas erasers inside and we had to find the matching was great fine motor practice too because those little lids were pretty hard to get off. Channing loved this and played with it on and off all afternoon. We didn't get much else done today as we were out running errands - tomorrow is going to be another full day with lots going on so we'll see what we end up doing.....I'm still waiting to do our gingerbread day!

If you haven't already entered "The Gingerbread Pirates" book give away, you can do so here. Don't forget to check out my Christmas and Gingerbread units too.

I am going to link this to:

Our Worldwide Classroom

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oh Christmas tree

Today was supposed to be our "Gingerbread day" but it didn't work out - we went with the flow and did a Christmas tree day instead. We read "Mooseltoe" by Margie Palatini . It's a cute little story about a moose who thinks he has planned Christmas down to a tea and then discovers that he has forgotten the Christmas tree! He searches EVERYWHERE for one at the last minute but there are none left. In order to "save Christmas", the moose decides to use his exceptionally long "moosetache" to make a Christmas tree. WE actually have a CD of this story so were able to follow along with the book (Channing loves to do this).

After we read the story, we made our own Christmas trees out of waffle cones, tinted green icing, M&M's and mini marshmallows (at Channing's request). It was a bit of a messy experience but it was fun.

I found these Christmas tree bubbles at Michaels the other day in the dollar section......Channing loves blowing them and Sully loves chasing them :-)

We played a Christmas tree game that I whipped up. Every player gets a game board and you'll need something to cover the spaces (we happened to use candy cane Hershey Kisses but we didn't eat any because we had already made the candy trees). You could use a dice to play but this time I ended up using a milk bottle cap and wrote the numbers 1 and 2 on the sides. Flip the cap and cover the correct amount of spaces on your tree (using the numbers 1 and 2 makes the game last longer)...........Channing had a ball with this.

Isn't this crayon puzzle cute! I found it a Michaels......perfect for our Christmas tree day so I got it out and the boys both drew pictures.

I was all set to make a Popsicle stick Christmas tree but couldn't find my Popsicle sticks ANYWHERE, so I had this thought:
It ended up being great because not only was it a sizing activity (I cut the pieces out and Channing had to put them in size order) but it was a patterning activity too. When we had all the pieces glued down, we tried dotting them with our dot markers but that didn't work so we put glitter glue on you can see, Channing LOVES squeezing it out :-)

We also started work on a special Christmas craft - but you'll have to wait a few days to find out what it involves a canvas and lots of mess.........

Monday, December 6, 2010

Candy Cane fun

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We had a GREAT time. Here are some of the things we got up to:

We decorated.........(I couldn't get ONE good shot of the boys together though).......
We bought Channing and Sully "Sock Monkeys" for their special decoration this year. Sully LOVED putting it on the tree......Channing on the other hand cried and didn't want his on the tree........he eventually came around and it's sitting on the tree :-)
We painted candy canes (using peppermint scented paint......mmmmmmmm - it smells good enough to eat!). The picture at the top of the post is the finished product. We talked a little bit about candy canes and the legend behind them....I have the book but I think Channing is a bit too young for it yet. I found this candy cane garland at the Dollar Tree.....broke off the candy canes and we did a whole heap of this picture, I put a pile of them on the table and we played a "pick up sticks" kind of game........Channing LOVED this.......I know we'll be doing this again in the next few days. We made some candy cane letters.....I made some candy cane number tags and stuck them on little red cups. Channing had to hook the correct amount of candy canes on the side (not as easy as it looks- he also had to work out that the candy canes needed to be evenly spread so the cup wouldn't tip).
We read "Mortimer's Christmas Manger"........I just got it today! It is definitely up there with my all time favorite "The Christmas Lizard" (which we save for Christmas Eve).........if you haven't read this one, you should definitely try and borrow a copy from someone. It is a darling story about a little mouse who makes a home in a nativity set only to discover who'd bed he's taken....... After we read the story, we made these cute little guys to place on the table at everyone plate. The candy canes are "real" for this after dinner treat!

I gave him a little basket to carry them in (we had 15 of them).....and he was SO PROUD........the boys all loved them too.

I'm gearing up for more fun tomorrow :-) I can't wait to see what you've been up to!

I'll be linking this to:

ABC and 123


preschool corner

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Gingerbread giveaway!

I am really excited to read this book to Channing this year! I've had it for a few weeks now and am waiting just a few more days.........

The book is about a little boy named Jim who make Gingerbread pirate cookies for Santa. When Jim goes to bed, "Captain Cookie" goes on a rescue mission to find his "crew" and runs into a hungry Santa Clause..........When Jim wakes up on Christmas morning, something wonderful has happened to his little pirate friend and crew!

After we read it, I plan on making Gingerbread Men (and maybe a pirate or two) with Channing for our Christmas tree.

I got my copy from Scholastic.........and the good news is that I got TWO that means, I'm giving one away to one of my super readers.

As this is my first giveaway (I'm pretty excited) is how this will work.

1. The giveaway is only open to those of you in the USA (sorry you other lovely readers - maybe next time I'll have one for you!).

2. Please leave a link to your blog or an email address so I can get in contact with you if you win. You don't have t have a blog to enter - just make sure I can let you know.

3. The giveaway will end on December 10th at 8PM and I will use an online random pick website to choose my winner.

Here's how you can enter:

Mandatory entry: Tell me a gingerbread activity you'd do after reading this story.

Additional entry: Follow my blog .

Additional entry: Tell me your favorite Christmas printable available on my blog.

Additional entry: Blog about this giveaway and link back to me.

Please make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry!

Good luck'll be a really cute addition to your Christmas library!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent Day 3

Wow! What a whirlwind of a day!

We decided to do a little Christmas shopping (boy is that interesting with a 3 year old and a 1 year old!.....I think next week we'll find a babysitter!). We went to Hobby Lobby and look what I stumbled across:

A magnetic nativity set! This provided Channing with some entertainment this afternoon :-)

When we got home from shopping, we read "Mother Hubbard's Christmas" By John O'Brien. I picked up my copy from the huge used book sale at our local library this summer - what a great find! It's a funny rhyming story about all the tricks the dog gets up to while Mother Hubbard is doing "Christmassy" things for him. In the end, the dog is the one who makes the Christmas feast.

We also made a bagel wreath today for a snack. We used cream cheese colored with a little green food coloring.....I had planned on using red M&M's but didn't have any, so we used mini marshmallows and a little red glitter sprinkles.

Channing also loved this counting activity.

We also had the HUGE task this afternoon of decorating our Student Home with all the boys......our first little sprinkle of snow came down as we decorated :-)
There won't be any posts from me this weekend.......We are "off duty" (we only get 2 weekend off a month - and pretty much work 24/7 the rest of the time).......since we've all been sick, we're practically CRAWLING into this weekend! While there will (hopefully) be lots of sleeping taking place, we'll still be doing our advent activities - I'll post about them on Monday :-) Have a great weekend everyone, I can't wait to see what you get up to.